It’s that time of the year again, the season when we Indians go all out on festivities, a time when we come together, splurge on gifts, and — of course — indulge our taste buds. After all, what are celebrations without food, right?
But if you’re someone who’s health conscious, festivals may be associated with some amount of guilt too. It could be because you have to miss a couple days’ workouts or break that clean-eating streak that you’ve tried so hard to maintain. This dread of faltering on our fitness goals could hold us back from having a great time. And that’s definitely not what festive spirit is about.
So what if we told you that there is a way to celebrate festivities, minus the guilt? The answer lies in maintaining a balance. MSc. Health Psychologist & Habit Expert, Pooja Naik, shares easy tips on how you can enjoy the festivities, all while keeping up with your fitness goals!
10 Tips For Guilt-Free Festive Indulgence
1. Start the day right
Make the most of your mornings so you can breeze through the rest of your chores with a free mind! Have a clean and satiating breakfast, followed by any form of quick, light exercise. If you’re too busy to visit your nearest center for a workout, you can try 15–20 minute home workouts.
2. Prep your meals ahead of time
Festive season is a busy time for many so planning your day ahead can give you more control. Chalk out just half an hour in your daily mornings to meal prep for the entire day. This way, you can quickly whip yourself up some food whenever you get hungry without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or order junk food.
3. Get moving
Add in any form of exercise wherever you can. It could be something as small as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the sweets shop rather than ordering them online, or dancing to your favorite festive tunes! While they may not be as rigorous as your regular workout, it will get your heart pumping.
4. Don’t skip your meals
If you’re counting calories, it may seem wise to save your calorie intake for a later time. But with all the running around, it’s likely that you will be hungry and make poor food choices when you finally decide to eat. So make sure you eat on time, according to your regular schedule.
5. Skip calorie counting, try calorie cycling instead
And so calorie counting brings us to this -- It can feel restrictive to be doing daily calculations, especially with the festivities going on. You might have a Diwali party to go to that’s catered to the nines or might be hosting one yourself. So opt for a more practical way of managing your calories -- Calorie Cycling.
With Calorie Cycling, you can indulge in your favorite snacks and dishes on the day of the festivities and simply reduce your calorie intake the following few days. This will then account for both your fitness schedule and your cravings!
6. Opt for healthier food alternatives
Who says that festive indulgences are all unhealthy? You can choose nutrient-rich home-made snacks over store-bought ones. Include trail mix, chikkis, and sweets made of dry fruit and dates.
7. Give homemade sweets a try
It’s super tempting to order or buy sweets from your favorite local sweets shop. Don’t get us wrong, we love our occasional indulgence in Gulab Jamuns and Motichoor Laddoos! But if you feel too guilty indulging in them, why not prepare some sweets by yourself at home?
This way, you can control the amount of sugar and ghee you add to your sweets and can also make for a great way to spend time with your family and friends. Might as well start a new family tradition this year!
You can also try any of these healthy festive recipes to make at home.
8. Eat mindfully
It’s not always easy to pass up your favorite dish, so don’t restrict yourself. Instead, eat slowly and savour your yummy food. It will leave you satiated and keep your portion in check too!
9. Get good rest
Often, when we get caught up with preparations, our sleep schedule takes a beating. And this, in turn, can disrupt our well-planned schedule or cause us to make unhealthy decisions -- like missing breakfast or skipping a quick workout. So make sure you get a good night’s sleep — or even an afternoon nap!
10. Go easy on the drinks
If you’re having drinks, choose them wisely, have a moderate amount, and have something that’s easy on your gut. This will help you make better food decisions and keep up with your schedule the following day. And make sure to intersperse your drinks with a tall glass of water every now and then.
And finally, don’t forget to enjoy!
Remember that fitness is all about sustainability. And the only way to achieve your goals in the long run is to maintain a balance. So don’t be too hard on yourself, enjoy the festival, and go easy on your fitness boundaries. You can always bounce back. Until then, happy holidays!
Need help maintaining your healthy habits throughout the festive season or in simply getting back to your routine once the festivals are done and dusted with? Why not give Cult Transform a try!